Monday, April 14, 2008

Kuomboka Ceremony

The floodplanes of the western province are gorgeous and filled with Lozi fisherman and once a year a whole bunch of tourists from all over the world.

After a 15 hour bus ride (yes, please insert "cramped" and "uncomfortable" here) we finally made it to Mongu, a small community in the rural Western Province where the Lozi people reside. I joined a bunch of friends (1 Candadian, 1 Namibian, and 5 Norwegians) for a wild weekend. Thousands of Zambians gather, all donning red caps (traditional Lozi color) to celebrate the annual migration of the king.
Yes, king I say. I thought he was a chief, but I guess there is a complex hierarchy of chiefs with one top chief who is referred to as king of the Lozi. A few of us were intereviewed on ZNBC, so yes, I am now a national TV star. Okay, perhaps not a star, but I was still on national TV.

Once a year the Lozi King migrates across the floodplane from the lowlands to his palace (mmmm, I use the term "palace" loosely here). We knelt for every imaginable official. We even knelt for the king's baggage as it was loaded onto the boat.

The king is rowed by about 100 men that use home-made paddles.

Norwegians are wild. Seriously. What's with Scandanavians? Love them. Every Norwegian I have met (and Swede for that matter) has unending energy and a serious dedication to savoring every second of life. Needless to say, I am tired. We did not sleep a lot.


jennifer anne said...

If you like the scandanavians you should move to the midwest when you return to the US. It's nice here and you don't have to look very hard for lutefisk and leftska.

Jessica said...

Your photo of the tree with the waves rolling in toward it is absolutely beautiful. I continue to enjoy reading your reflections!

Jamie Gandolph said...

Look at how far you've come!!! You've done so many amazing things...I'll admit I am slightly jealous :) i enjoy reading your should think about writing a book about this year... I would read it!!!